31 March 2007

In The Middle Of Packing

We've begun to pack up my flat as I'm shortly abandoning the wuthering flats of Fenlandshire for the romantic vistas of North West Norfolk. So I better crack on as there are many more boxes to be packed things to wrap and stuff to be sorted.

In the meanwhile here's an interesting article from the New York Times (you have to register but it's worth doing) about the family who make tabasco. HERE

30 March 2007


Doctor Who - Series Three (new style) starts tomorrow at 7pm, and I'm just a little bit excited.

28 March 2007

Linkage 28 Mar 07

Legal Daftness, viral campaigns, Stateside, from Coke Zero.

That's all really....

27 March 2007

Why I Love My Readers

Why I Love My Readers

The most obvious reason is because you read my site, which makes me feel that I'm not just spewing bibble into the atmosphere, some of it is being caught too. I'm guessing here but I'd put a couple of 50 pence that you are intelligent, thoughtful people who appreciate that we don't all have to be the same, that normal is as normal does and anyways who wants to be normal.

The other reason which links into the open mindedness and thoughtfulness is that I'm pretty sure that none of you indulge in threatening other bloggers with death threats or photoshop up nasty sexually lurid pictures of other bloggers. Well you might do, but as far as I am aware you don't stick em up on flickr or any forum. A lot of this happened to an American blogger Kathy Sierra, who although the BBC described her a prominent blogger I had never heard of, but I'm sure that she's never heard of me so we are even. I'm being flippant there and when I first saw the story I thought, Ack American, over sensitive, surely it can't be that bad, and then I saw her blog entry about it and the words dried up.

Sorry Ms Sierra I was wrong.

There are weirdos out there, but what Ms Sierra shows on her blog - a small part of, apparently, the hatred shown to her. It's unreasonable, it's unforgivable and it's unbalanced... It's completely and utterly wrong. No one should be subjected to that and the ones who are doing it and the ones who seem to be condoning it need to re-examine their moral compass cos right now it is fucked to shit.

Which gets me back to why I love you all, it's because you are good looking and intelligent, sophisticated and aware, but above all that, you are reasonable, sensible, humorous and reasonably sane. Because I don't think any of yous will ever confuse blogging with what is really important.

26 March 2007

Can We Apologise For Slavery?

There has been a lot of debate, both on blogs and in the media about the merits of an apology being issued by someone in a position of power, say Tony Blair, for the role that Great Britain had in the international slave trade.

There have been quite a few arguments against apologising, most have some merit as far as I can tell, but some a just plain wrong: "There is no point in apologising for slavery because as everyone else was doing it" and the flip side to that "there is no point in apologising because no one else has." Er nope that won't do - that is the sort of argument used by a small child trying to excuse their bad behaviour because it was as part of a group. Notwithstanding the other arguments about apologising not doing so because of them others is unacceptable we are responsible to ourselves and our behaviour should be led by our moral compass not what other people/nations are doing. As far as I see it, it matters not one whit whether or not France apologises for its role in the Slave Trade or the Vatican expresses regret for the damage done by the Crusades, because they are/were not responsible for what Britain does/did.

Most of the arguments I've seen are against apologising, mainly on the basis that if you are not responsible for the wrong deed or the person(s) who committed them then you can't apologise for it as it is meaningless as you have not made the decision not to do that again or realise that what you have done was wrong as you didn't do it. I can see the merits of this argument, it narrows down the circumstances where an apology can be given but it does have thought.

What if you have benefited from the deed, should you apologise then? Many are arguing in the case of slavery that we, this present generation have had no choice in accepting or rejecting the benefits that the slave trade gave Britain and it's not if we are likely to start rejecting those benefits even if we could seeing as they have been subsumed into the fabric of the country. I don't think you can apologise in this case cos it does smack of hypocrisy.

What no one has mentioned though is shame. I feel ashamed that my country was involved in the slave trade, that it allowed it to happen and made money from the trafficking of people, I don't think I can apologise for what was done to the Africans by British Slavers because I could not have influenced it but I do feel regret, sorrow, and shame that it was done.

24 March 2007

Things Not To Say In Films If You Want To Live

Sometimes even in the best films you know who is gonna be a gonner way before the character does, in the less well written films it's obvious.

But if you are a young actor in a part that is paid by the line best watch out for lines like these.

"It doesn't hurt Doc, is that a good sign" Will be dead before the scene is over let alone the reel.

"I've had a wonderful time, this has been the best party/day/moment of my life. I'll just take a little rest here." Bound to be discovered dead in a chair, hammock, under a shady tree by the cute moppet or heroine of the film.

"And that's my girl Mary-Lou, when this God-damned war is over we're gonna raise chickens just like my old papa did" God-damned blown up by the bad guys just when you thought he was actually gonna make it.

"Aye Aye Captain I'll go first!"

"I am Spartacus"

I'm sure you can think of some more, these are just a few to be going on with.

21 March 2007

This Could Become A Habit

This is just the second day of having the car, and already I'm hooked which is scary as I've got to give it back to Simon on Friday as it is really his car. But man, without wishing to trivialise the effects of drugs that car is like crack I can't bear to think about giving the car back. The ease of just driving to work instead of catching the bus, the fact that I could if I wanted just get in the car and drive anywhere I wanted to instead of having to ask someone to take me there if it's inaccessible by public transport.

It's great.

That I still don't really need a car, I can walk to the shops easily, to the bus and railway stations and the bus to work drops me off as close as it can get, which is pretty close, hasn't changed but yesterday it was freezing I didn't have to wait for the bus in a freezing shelter, today I was able to give a colleague a lift home which was really nice to do. Gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

I know intellectually I don't need it, that a car is an expensive habit which I can't really afford even considering the petrol. But.... oooh I like the way it makes me feel (warm and home a lot earlier than usual)

20 March 2007

Lost in Wisbech

So I drove into work today, from King's Lynn to finest Fenlandshire, apart from getting lost round Wisbech it was all fine. Wisbech is a fine looking town especially in the centre but its by-pass is not very well sign posted and I was looking for signs to March and or the A141 not the A644684648. I eventually found the road I was meant to be on, but only after going through a couple of very pretty villages and the snow strewn landscape.

I could get very fond of this flat land, driving through it in the morning like this I get to see it more clearly and I'm noticing things I've not noticed before when I've been driven. Unfortunately I've not noticed the way to the Wisbech by pass.

I got to work just in time for my course. I'm feeling very invested in at the moment this is the second course in as many weeks, this time I'm learning how to interview people correctly, the trainer looks and sounds just like Alan Bleasdale and one of my fellow students is Peter Griffin of Family Guy made flesh and brainier and more thoughtful and from the west country apart from that he's the dead spit. It feels like a good course and I've learnt lots of useful stuff already, tomorrow is the scary day, we've got to interview volunteers on their CVs but from a behavioural aspect tomorrow. It could all go horribly wrong.

18 March 2007

Could Snow

I rang my Mum today, just to see how she was and because I usually ring her on a Sunday after the Archers if I'm about. She said that it was threatening to snow in darkest Cambridgeshire. I did not ring her because it was Mother's day, you see my Mum doesn't believe in it. She says that if you need a day in the year to remember your mother on and treat her properly because you've ignored her for the rest of they year then please don't bother at all. This was my paternal Grandmother's view as well, so there has never been a tradition of bothering with Mother's day as far as I remember. I suppose I will have to carry on the tradition myself too.

I personally think Valentine's day is a load of crock too, there's nowt wrong with a card but leave it at that the rest is over priced tat. It is far nicer to receive a bunch of flowers just because "it's a Wednesday and they looked nice and the sun was shining and I was thinking of you..." than because all the supermarkets and florist shops are telling you this is how you must show your love.

Anyways that was not what I was intending to blog about. Yesterday as well as going for a tramp in the woods (we had a good time I'm not sure whether the tramp enjoyed it though. Ah the old jokes they don't get much better than that! :D )We went out for dinner in Historic King's Lynn by the Quayside as the restaurant is a bit posher than your usual rubbish we decided to scrub up, this is me all scrubbed up and ready to go as taken with my new camera. I forgot to take a photo of Simon be assured that he looked very dapper too.

17 March 2007

St Patricks Day

And to celebrate I bought Cinnamon and Raisin bagels - there is a reason. And then we went for a walk in Sandringham woods, it's quiet now but in 1,2 or 3 months time the roads will be chocka with caravans and tourists.

A Forest

15 March 2007

Ever wondered about What Happened to Selina Scott?

Well worry no more she's been seen safe and sound narrating Fire Safety DVDs.

I went for my annual fire training today, rumours had been circulating around the water coolers at work that the fire trainers finally had a new video. No more would we have to see that dozy lad set fire to the building by putting his paper work over the toaster, no more would we have to suffer the self conscious standing round of bad actors in 80's style glasses.

And lo the rumours proved to be true - our fire trainer was very proud of his new training DVD and power point presentation except for the gif for the fun fire engine that nee nahed its way across the screen at one point. He was very firm that it wasn't his fault and that he had been over ruled by those with more power but less sense of the design aesthetic.

The DVD well... it's a sign of the times - the cause of the factory's demise was not a dozy YTS lad making himself toasted muffins for elevenses it a dozy spotty oik having a crafty fag in the stationary warehouse Oh how the changing concerns of a nation are reflecting in its training videos. I'm afraid that my attention was completely taken by the early to mid 90's outfits that the women Selina included were wearing. loads of "peachy feel luxury fabric" tops and short black skirts with black tights and court shoes, a few shoulder pads were still in evidence. To be honest I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to spray powder at a computer on fire or chuck the fire extinguisher at it, Selina's inadvisable black boots made me forget all I had learnt. Ah the Nineties it could be scary out there folks.

11 March 2007

Mein Kamera Ist Kaputt

It's finally decided that it no longer wants to play. In lower light there are obvious purple lines across the image and now in bright light the whites come out shocking pink. It looks like a still from a pop video from the early eighties by the Cure or Ultravox.

So I'm going to get a new camera, money being very much the object I think I'm going to get a Canon Powershot A550 I've seen some good reviews, it's a Canon so it's bound to be OK and I don't have to splash out on any accessories and it's very good value for money.

Baby Sloth

I've read somewhere that although conservationists know that baby sloths do get produced and can guess the basic mechanics, sloths being mammals after all, no one has seen sloths getting it together in the wild so the courting rituals are unknown.

10 March 2007

The One With The Clutter Busting

Seeing as Simon and I are getting married this year and I will be moving to King's Lynn, we've decided that the sooner I move in the better. There are plenty of good reasons for this - we get to be together, only have one household to feed and it will make getting my flat into a ready state for selling easier as there will be less stuff in it. Most of my stuff will go into storage until we get a house together, so with that in mind I've started the rationalisation of stuff. I went through my wardrobe: end result several bags for charity, one pile of clothes for Si to take home with him because I won't be wearing them in the near future and a much emptier closet.

Then we tackled the first of the bookshelves, no point in have two copies of a book, so we rationalised what was on the bookcase as a consequence one young girl is going to get almost the complete set of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels published to date and more bags of books to go into the Registry's perpetual second hand book fair at work.

Tomorrow I'm going to make several families of dust bunnies homeless when the boxes under the bed get hoiked out from under there for Si to take back with him for storing.

It's a start at least, there are more bookshelves to go, the music (duplicates to be got rid of), DVDs and videos likewise, the "woodshed", linen and then the kitchen stuff to be thinned out. And that's before we go through roughly 20 tonnes of wedding ephemera needs to collected together and taken to Lynn

07 March 2007


I rather like the French Entry Amour a la Francaise by Fatals Picards into Eurovision, it's the best I've seen so far. It's indie pop tastic bouncy fun and I would give it house room


It's the French Entry they are almost as bad as Italy for entering crap. Am I loosing my touch has my finger slipped from the pulse or am I right?

If I'm wrong can I blame my ears?

06 March 2007

Wrong Response

I had a hearing test today at the request of the doctor, after I went to see her about my little turn last week. I came over all dizzy if you are interested, which is probably linked to the blocked ears I've had since before Christmas. The hearing test showed some hearing loss in my left ear at higher frequencies, which would tally with what I've been saying about not being able to make out what is being said in noisy environments especially if they have higher pitched voices. But when I looked at the graph that the nurse had charted out my first thought was "Oh Good, I've got something to blog about tonight. Better than the 'marigold gloves fetish' search result I got a hit from yesterday." instead of "Ooooh that's not good, I hope it's only temporary"

My considered response is "Ooooh that's not good I hope it's only temporary" I will be seeing the doctor next week I'll let you know.

05 March 2007

Yeah, Like That's Gonna Happen

I got a piece of email spam today entitled "Please read and get back to me"

It's a slightly different take on the old Uncle's Niece's Mother has an huge account that needs your money to help open.

From Mr. Johnson Eze.

I write to request your co-operation in my desire to find a foreign partner who will assist me in the relocation and investment of the sum of US $25million, which is presently available and in my possession. Presently, I am a serving government functionary in my Native Country. The money was realised from gratification/kickbacks which was received from foreign contractors who executed contracts for my country in the last 2 years.

I am unable to travell out now,so I shall be glad if you can stand as beneficiary to receive this money abroad and also nominate a good investment facility in your country where the fund will be placed for profits making. I am offering you 30% of total sum after the transfer.The entire plan and documents of this transaction will be forwarded to you as soon as I receive your positive response. I also want to assure you that there is no risk attach to you in this business.
Mr. Johnson Eze.
Some how I don't think so.

04 March 2007

Spell Right for Socialism

You may have seen on the news, on the interweb or in the Guardian articles about Conservapedia The "conservative" alternative to Wikipedia.
"Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American."
Wikipedia apparently has far too much liberal bias, for instance using BCE and CE instead of BC/AD or using British spellings. Spelling colour with a u instead of without one appears to be a a dangerous sign of being an evil atheist lefty anti American to the founders of Conservapedia. They only have 6 commandments for posting and one of those is not to use British spellings and if you do so repeatedly you are likely to get blocked from contributing to the site. As Language Log, the blog where I first heard about this stupidity, points out it's a very draconian over reaction to variety.

My View

To equate British spelling with a Liberal/Anti Christian bias is moronic; as one commenter on a Language Log's associated blog said "If I were as paranoid as these guys, I’d assume that Conservapedia was an atheist plot to discredit Christianity." I'm guessing here but it's probably a safe bet that the people behind this have a lot of time for the King James Version of the Bible, John Knox, Charles Wesley's hymns (if they agree with hymns that is), Paradise Lost, John Bunyan and Charles Spurgeon. All of whom/which are written/wrote in various forms of BRITISH ENGLISH.